People’s Relief is a grassroots coalition of individuals, families, and groups working to help those impacted by Hurricane Sandy in Coney Island. When many high-rise buildings in the area were without power, heat, running water, or working elevators for weeks after the storm, People’s Relief conducted one of the largest coordinated campaigns to identify and direct medical care and necessary supplies to elderly and disabled residents in crisis. Our canvassing effort provided thousands of people with emergency assistance and supplies. Recognizing that the few distribution centers opened by official agencies and organizations after Sandy could not adequately meet the enormous needs of the community, People’s Relief has also worked with residents and local leaders to support and create additional supply sites. Meanwhile, the People’s Medical Relief team has become an important health resource during a time when many of the area’s community clinics, doctors’ offices, and pharmacies remain closed.
People’s Relief works closely with local residents and leaders. We believe that the only responsible, effective, and efficient way to bring disaster relief to communities is to work directly with affected constituencies to ensure that resources are channeled and distributed appropriately. The work of People’s Relief is based on the conviction that relief efforts must not only respond to immediate needs, but also strengthen communities’ capacity to respond to future emergencies and challenges. We strive to conduct our work in a manner that supports leadership development and the creation of long-term community infrastructure.